Man Without Qualities

ISBN-10: 0679767878
ISBN-13: 9780679767879
Edition: N/A
List price: $23.00 Buy it from $11.15
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Description: Set in Vienna on the eve of World War I, this great novel of ideas tells the story of Ulrich, ex-soldier and scientist, seducer and skeptic, who finds himself drafted into the grandiose plans for the 70th jubilee of the Emperor Franz Josef. This new  More...

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Book details

List price: $23.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/9/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 752
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Set in Vienna on the eve of World War I, this great novel of ideas tells the story of Ulrich, ex-soldier and scientist, seducer and skeptic, who finds himself drafted into the grandiose plans for the 70th jubilee of the Emperor Franz Josef. This new translation--published in two elegant volumes--is the first to present Musil's complete text, including material that remained unpublished during his lifetime.

Musil's Young Torless is a novel of troubled adolescence set in a military school, modeled on the one attended by both Musil and Rainer Maria Rilke. It was his first book and was immediately successful. He then abandoned his studies in engineering, logic, and experimental psychology and turned to writing. He was an officer in the Austrian army in World War I, lived in Berlin until the Nazis came to power, and finally settled in Geneva. He also wrote plays, essays, and short stories. The Man without Qualities, Musil's magnum opus, is a novel about the life and history of prewar Austria. It was unfinished when Musil died, though he had labored over the three-volume work for ten years. Encyclopedic in the manner of Proust and Dostoevsky, "it is a wonderful and prolonged fireworks display, a well-peopled comedy of ideas" (V. S. Pritchett)---and a critique of contemporary life. It made Musil's largely posthumous reputation. "Musil's whole scheme prophetically describes the bureaucratic condition of our world, and what can only be called the awful, deadly serious, and self-deceptive love affair of one committee for another" (Pritchett).

Burton Pike is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and German at CUNY. He co-translated Musil's The Man without Qualities and Rilke's novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. His translations have appeared in numerous periodicals.

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